From Bucs to the Bowl
Dilfer continues Super trend of ex-Tampa Bay QBs
Updated: Monday January 29, 2001 3:29 AM
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of eight teams that have never been to a Super Bowl. But the Bucs have an odd propensity for developing Super Bowl quarterbacks. With ex-Buc Trent Dilfer and the Baltimore Ravens advancing to Super Bowl XXXV -- ironically in Tampa, Fla. -- four former Tampa Bay QBs have left and eventually went to Super Bowls with another team. Here's a comparison of the Bucs-turned-Super Bowl-quarterbacks -- before and after.
The Story: The most successful quarterback in Buccaneers' history, Doug Williams' departure from Tampa Bay to the USFL after a contract dispute following the 1982 season was the catalyst of the Bucs' 15-year tailspin -- affectionately known in Tampa as the Doug Williams' curse. After returning to the NFL in 1986 as an insurance policy to starter Jay Schroeder, Williams got hot at the end of the '87 season in relief of Schroeder and led Washington to a storybook Super Bowl XXII victory against Denver.
The Story: In Steve Young's two years in Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers finished 2-14 twice. Of course, the Bucs never had the likes of Jerry Rice and John Taylor for Young to work with. So when the Bucs selected Vinny Testaverde with the No. 1 pick in the 1987 draft, Young was jettisoned to San Francisco on Apr. 24, 1987 for a second- and a fourth-round pick (LB Winston Moss and WR Bruce Hill) and cash. The rest is history -- to the tune of two regular-season MVPs and the Super Bowl XXIX MVP.
The Story: The Chris Chandler era in Tampa Bay was yet another quarterback disaster. Acquired from Indianapolis for a No. 1 pick (which turned out to be the No. 1 overall choice -- Steve Emtman), Chandler never clicked as a spot starter and Testaverde's backup. The Bucs waived Chandler outright in the middle of the 1991 season after only 13 games and six starts. After stopovers in Arizona, St. Louis and Houston, the journeyman Chandler finally found a home in Atlanta and led the upstart Falcons to Super Bowl XXXIII.
The Story: Trent Dilfer's six-year career in Tampa Bay ended abruptly with a broken collarbone suffered late last season in Seattle. Although ridiculed for inconsistent play and baffling errors, Dilfer had the most successful ride in Bucs' QB history since Williams -- earning a trip to the '97 Pro Bowl after leading the team to the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. Now Dilfer has resurrected his career in Baltimore in the most ironic of fashions: guiding a defensive-oriented team with mistake-free play to Super Bowl XXXV victory in his former home stadium.